Did you look it up?
Hosea 2:19 from last week…did you read it?
Our topic this week centers around this important verse! Here it is again:
“I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness; and you shall know the Lord.” Hosea 2:19
Scripture uses many images to describe God’s love/desire for us, but the “spousal analogy” is arguably the most pronounced…and maybe even most confusing one!
Drawing from the conclusions of theologians before him, Christopher West takes that analogy a step farther and makes a pretty profound statement: God wants to marry us.
Crazy, right? And these claims come from the Bible! That’s not too hard to believe though…after all, the Bible begins and ends with marriages: Adam to Eve and Christ to the Church. Patterned throughout the Bible–from bookend to bookend–you see numerous examples of God making His desires clear for us (members of His Church). Here are a few:
Song of Songs 4:9 (You saw that coming!)
“You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.”
“For as a young man marries a virgin, so shall your Maker marry you; and as the bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.”
“‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the church.”
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.”
The outline these passages provide reveals an eternal plan that becomes obvious when we see the sacrifice Christ made on the cross. God himself became flesh…not just to forgive our sins (as if that wasn’t enough!), but to become “one flesh” with US, so that we could share in His eternal exchange of love.
An earthly “spousal relationship” is given to us by God to foreshadow the relationship He desires to have with each of us…for eternity! Union with God is the ultimate relationship…the ultimate GOAL; the union of man and woman in marriage reflects and prepares us for that reality.
This is definitely a unique way of looking at our relationship with God. John Paul II recognized that “the analogy of human spousal love cannot offer an adequate and complete understanding of [the divine mystery] (emphasis mine).” This analogy simply allows us a unique glimpse into this incredibly divine mystery.
What do YOU think of spending an eternity in perfect love? And if you pursued that now…what would it look like?
In the meantime, stay tuned for next week’s post about how/why God created men and women.
Thanks for reading!
The FRP Team